People often use the term drunk driving interchangeably with DWI. While drunk driving may be a descriptive option, the law typically refers to Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI) which are distinct legal terms used when arresting, charging, or litigating a case that involves intoxication and operation of a motor vehicle in a public place.

So if you’re looking for a drunk driving lawyer in Houston, what you really need is a DWI lawyer familiar with the local laws for DWI and DUI. At Trichter & LeGrand, we provide legal counsel focused on defending people charged with exactly these crimes, from DWI to DUI, which could both fall under the “drunk driving” umbrella.

Drunk Driving Lawyer


There are several different reasons this terminology came about, so we’ll break it down for you here. To start, the difference between drunk driving and the legal terms DWI or DUI have to do mostly with colloquialisms.

Drunk driving is a familiar and conversational way to refer to an actual act. It’s simply descriptive, and due to that simple nature, it does not encompass all of the legal implications that come with the definition of a DWI.

We have talked about what constitutes a DWI before, but to give you a brief summary from the Texas Penal Code (Sec. 49.04.):

(a)  A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.

(b)  Except as provided by Subsections (c) and (d) and Section 49.09, an offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of 72 hours.

(c)  If it is shown on the trial of an offense under this section that at the time of the offense the person operating the motor vehicle had an open container of alcohol in the person’s immediate possession, the offense is a Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of six days.

(d)  If it is shown on the trial of an offense under this section that an analysis of a specimen of the person’s blood, breath, or urine showed an alcohol concentration level of 0.15 or more at the time the analysis was performed, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor.

As you can see, Driving While Intoxicated has a very specific set of definitions. In most cases, these are the factors that would be measured to determine whether or a not a person is charged with a DWI. Technically speaking, you can not be officially “charged” with “drunk driving” because there is not a penal code definition matching that description.

Now, of course, in terms of actual actions, drunk driving is still a potentially criminal offense and you’ll need a drunk driving lawyer. More than anything the difference in terminology is purely in the words used, but it’s important to know the difference if you ever find yourself facing such charges.


If you’re looking for a drunk driving lawyer in Houston, what you really need is a DWI defense attorney. At Trichter & LeGrand, we have a team of professional DWI lawyers prepared to handle your drunk driving charge, as well as a DWI Specialist, Gary Trichter.

There’s a unique difference between attorneys for drunk driving or DWI and a DWI Specialist of course. While both can help you fight any potential drunk driving charges, DWIs, or DUIs, a DWI Specialist is more specifically defined:

Under Texas law, a “DWI Specialist” is a lawyer who has been granted the privilege to publicly state that they have special competence in the areas of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Boating While Intoxicated (BWI), and Flying While Intoxicated (FWI). 

That essentially means they’ve gone through an additional certification and education process recognized by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. While all of that might be legal consideration and specification, what it means for anyone seeking legal counsel from Gary Trichter can be secure in his extensive knowledge and professional experience handling DWI (or “drunk driving”) charges in the state of Texas.

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For further information, or to get a free consultation with our drunk driving lawyer, please contact us directly either by phone or through our contact form. If you’re interested in fighting your DWI, DUI, “drunk driving”, or other intoxication related charges, you can rely on Trichter & LeGrand to help fight your case with years of experience.


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